Saturday morning Bill and I attended a session of Fresh-grounded Faith to hear Jennifer Rothschild. Bill was probably one of a half-dozen men among hundreds of women, but he was not concerned. He’d told me when I invited him to join me that it might be fun.
Jennifer spoke of her need for contentment, and I connected with that need. However, I didn’t hear how to develop that character trait. So Sunday afternoon I did a brief study of Bible verses related to contentment. I first found that “the righteous eat to their hearts’ content” (Prov. 13:25a), and I concluded that provision is made to delight the hearts of the righteous.
Paul in his letter to the Philippian church gave testimony: “I have learned to be content [how did he learn?] whatever the circumstances” [that’s an added advantage] . . . . He expanded that: “I have learned the secret [oh, it’s not obvious] of being content in any and every situation” [there’s that seemingly impossible expansion again] . . . . And he concluded: “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:11, 12, 13). There’s the can-do and reasonable resource.
Contentment is a learned process and the situation doesn’t matter, for the strength to obtain this comes from the Lord. I need to learn Paul’s secret. “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Tim. 4:8). It takes little to be satisfied with the good way of life. I can transfer that satisfaction about earthly possessions to being content about our present situation – responding well to Bill’s dementia. I have recently found victory as I change my tone of voice addressing Bill as if I’m responding to Jesus.
An added advantage: “Be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5). I turn my trust onto God, not fearing how life’s been dished out – mental or physical disabilities. God is always with us. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). Contentment goes along with godliness. To gain one I must have the other. It’s a matter of being Christ-like, centering my affections on Jesus.